Metro Goes To Uganda

I'm in Uganda to help put on a retreat for missionary women serving in this region of the world. 33 women from about 7 nations and many organizations stepped away from their responsibilities as teachers, doctors and nurses, engineers for clean-wells, agricultural specialists, and church planters who all have a desire to see people come to know Jesus and grow in their faith came to the retreat. It was a wonderful experience for all of us; the volunteers and our guests.

I spoke four times to them and met with many for one-on-one prayer. They told their own stories of God's work in their lives set in the setting of war, violence, famine, refugees, evacuations and displacements, poverty and injustice. It was a such a privilege to listen and pray with them and I was changed by being with them. 

I'm thankful that Metro uses part of the Christmas Offering to participate with me in my work and that so many people at Metro pray so I can serve. I am not a brave or courageous person on my own. Being away from Kevin is not my favorite thing to do and I miss my church family. But, when I realize that these women have left everything to serve here I'm humbled to be able to come alongside of them. Over and over and over again I've been hugged, cried on, and told how grateful they are and how refreshed they feel after the retreat. As they return to their real lives today, they inspire me to live a life spilled out for Jesus. 

Submitted by Linda Swanson

King: Metro Youth Retreat '17

OY VE! FIFTY-FOUR YOUTH! FOR REAL?!?!

This would be the largest group to go on a youth retreat in Metro’s history. The kids’ excitement level was at a frenzied pitch. With their faces stuffed with pizza, their hearts and souls shielded with a powerful prayer by Kelly Glavin - one of our parents - we packed the kids and their stuff into a school bus and 2 cars and embarked on our March weekend retreat and arrived at Harvey Cedars Christian Conference Center about 2-hours later.  

The theme of the youth retreat this year was “KING.” We were going to learn, meditate on and worship what “King” meant to us and how it could be reflected in our lives. We were so blessed all weekend to be led into worship by our stellar youth praise brand. They didn’t just play instruments or just sing - they WORSHIPPED the King in heart and spirit...and it was infectious, evidenced by the fact that the youth sang and praised like I had never seen before.

Our guest speaker, Pastor Chris, was anointed as he took the topic of “King” and divvied it up into three topics - “Obedience,” “God’s Presence,” and “The Good Shepherd.” He really had a way of opening up the scripture to the youth in ways that they could comprehend and be impacted by them. This became obvious during our small groups, as we discussed questions that pertained to the message we had just heard - it was apparent that the kids had actually listened and there were “God moments” where kids shared from the sincerity of their hearts. 

Cold temps, rain and overcast skies on Saturday were not going to dampen the moods of the kids on their weekend getaway. The kids ran, jumped and shouted as we played group games, board games, foosball, ping pong, ate cup ramen noodles, and the overdose of sugar that the kids had from all the candy seemed to contribute to them truly enjoying each other...and even their “fun” seemed to be a worship of our King. 

The retreat began winding down on Saturday night as Pastor Chris shared his final message, but as far as the kids were concerned, they were going to be up for the long haul that night...or at least as long as they could last. Some kids played games, other talked, some went to bed, many partook of the leftover snacks, and some spent time writing notes of encouragement to each other at the retreat. As I roamed a bit and observed the various on-goings late, late, late into the final night, I could not help but be incredibly grateful because the King had bestowed upon me the gift of this weekend.

Sunday morning we watched a video for a devotional and we then partook of communion as a group. We then made time for the youth (and teachers) to share a testimony about the weekend. Many students came up to share what the weekend meant to them and how God had blessed them. 

“Pastor Chris, what was the biggest thing that helped you get closer to God?” I probably wasn’t supposed to hear it but it was a question asked of the guest speaker that rang in my ears, stuck in my craw, and brought tears to my eyes and down to my knees in worship at how God just poured out his Spirit upon us. It was quite obvious that the retreat had been baptized in prayer, the program had been anointed and the Lord had been welcomed; all evidenced in the fact that there was a transformative move of the Holy Spirit in and through the youth (as well as the leaders) during this weekend. Random acts of kindness amongst the youth toward each other, the inquisitiveness in the questions asked, the prayers lifted up, the boisterous fellowship, and the communal bonds forged between Merge and X - teachers and youth, old and young - were all acts of worship to the “King.”

Throughout the retreat I saw kids stepping up to help each other. I saw kids praying with each other. I saw kids worshipping their hearts out together. I saw kids sharing their hearts with each other. I heard youth encouraging each other. I heard kids confessing things they had done in the past. I saw kids enjoying each other. All these things and more is what “KING” meant to them. 

At the end of the classic movie, Karate Kid 2, Mr. Sato humbly says to Mr. Miyagi, “Your student has become my teacher!” That is exactly how I felt after the weekend. I kind of feel guilty saying this but I learned more from the kids than I could ever offer them. I went on the retreat as a teacher, chaperone, surrogate parent, but what the Lord helped me realize was that I was not working WITH these kids, but He was working on me THROUGH these kids.

As much as find myself yelling at the kids from time to time, I love working with them. They blow my mind at how incredible they are. My prayer is that the youth at our church will continue to seek out what King means to them in order that they may live out the lives that Christ desires for them. 

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Submitted by Dan Kim
Metro Merge Volunteer

Metro Sends Its Best To Visit Zimele In South Africa

With a mound of luggage including eight extra suitcases full of gifts Metro collected to give to Zimele in South Africa, our finest are taking off this morning. "We are thankful for Metro coming together to collect these gifts and send us with your prayers! Thank you!"

Please pray for the team as they spend the next eight days learning about Zimele's work in South Africa and using their own gifts to partner with Zimele to bless the people Zimele serves. 

Janice, Diana, Renee, Anna, Joe, Angie, Jee, Pastor David

And they're off!

Another first for Metro! The combined Metro X / Metro Merge retreat that started today was so large that we had to rent a school bus! Would you join me in prayer for our students and their leaders as they spend this weekend together? We want God to prepare them to be all He created them to be which will result in them changing the world!

Pastor Kevin

Culture Study Through Film

In the fall of 2016, Metro Church's UG programs were posted.  One program of interest to a number of people was,  "Culture Study Through Film," which was offered by Pastor Peter Ahn and Suah Hwang.  This UG would view films and explore the origin histories of the members of Metro Community Church.  After viewing a film, the group would discuss the film along with input from group members' personal family backgrounds.

Each time we met, we ate a dinner supplied by the members of our UG. The first evening, we shared our backgrounds and family histories. The group became very open as we shared our backgrounds.

We watched the film, "13th," first. It deals with black history in America and proved to be an eye opening presentation of slavery to modern day lives of black Americans.  We were disturbed by what we saw and heard.

Metro is a melting pot of numerous nationalities who came to this country for a better life. We have also watched films on Korea and China.  Our discussions helped us to understand the difficulties immigrants face to become a part our society. Those of us new to America shared how we were received when we came to this country.

We have discussed white privilege. Black Americans and other nationalities arriving to America have faced problems whites do not normally face. An example of white privilege is often how a white person is treated during a traffic stop compared to people from other groups.

As we discussed the issues of the different groups within Metro, we wondered how to bind each of us into a cohesive group within our church.  We've asked this question numerous times.  To strengthen the congregation, we must care for all members.  The problems of any member or group within Metro are problems for each of us if we are following Christ's teachings.

We have now started a second UG to continue our understanding of the background and problems of our members with hopes of bringing us closer together.  Most of us from session one are back for session two because of our strong interest in this topic.

I'm an older white member attending the group. The historical background and discussions are very important  to help me have a a better understanding of Metro.  When I entered the church for the first time 2 years ago, I was greeted and welcomed to Metro.  I told the greeters I was looking for my wife, Judy.  It seemed everyone knew my wife and they helped me find her.  We continue to be involved in the church programs and recommend that more members become involved with the church offerings beyond the Church service.

Submitted by Bruce Atkins

Painting For Fun And Metro

This past Saturday, AiM held its first ever painting night. I am by no means a painter, but I was surprised at how relaxing and easy it was to follow along as Jess taught the class. Jessica came into my office a few months ago with this idea in response to our church's budget crisis. Quietly, she explained to me her vision and her hopes that this would be a means in which she could serve to help raise funds for our church, regardless of how small the amount might be. She had never done this before, and it would be a challenge for her because it was outside her comfort zone, but she was following her conviction. I told her AiM would support her vision and this event, and left the rest into her hands. The first wine(less) and painting night was a blast and I must say that I never knew painting could be so relaxing and fun! I am thankful for people like Jess, who want to use their gifts and talents for God's church, and I'm thankful that we have a place where we can gather and fellowship in cool ways like this. We definitely want to have many more so I hope to see you at the next one!

Submitted by Pastor Doug Cho

Comic Books And Bible Reading

There’s no secret formula in cultivating a Christian home as any parent can attest, but in our house we try to read a passage of the Bible and take turns praying every night.  I wish I can say that this practice is diligently upheld by us, the parents, but sadly it’s usually our children who remind us that it’s time to read Psalms.  Before anyone thinks these are signs of a super Christian family, let me level those expectations.  Firstly, we are almost at the end of Psalms and it has taken us a year, and secondly, our boys developed a habit of enjoying the Bible on their own through a set of comic books.

Five Christmases ago, when the boys were 7, 6 and 4, their uncle gave them "The Power Bible," a carton version of the Bible from Genesis to Revelations.  When I saw the box set, I was a little skeptical.  It didn’t seem “biblical” – would God honor the reading of his word through speech bubbles?  Absolutely.  God showed up and made himself known to three young boys in their young boy language.   Getting to know God became enjoyable and voluntary, rather than forced or dreaded.  Little did I know that reading the cartoons was beginning a practice that would turn into a habit that would make the transition into reading the NIV easier.

When I see the boys still pick up and read The Power Bible for leisure reading (who doesn’t like a good comic book?), it’s a sobering reminder that God comes to us where we are.  He’s there when we open the NIV and in theological texts and definitely in speech bubbles.

Submitted by Susan Son

Showing The Love In MetroX

I've been going to Metro since I was two years old. Growing up in the same church for 13 years, I graduated from MetroKids and MetroMerge. Last year, I graduated to MetroX, which was a scary experience for me. I left all my close friends from MetroMerge behind. I didn't know if I would fit into the high school crowd. Hardly anyone knew me and the thought of having to make new friends terrified me.  As my first year in MetroX quickly came to an end, I was able to make some good friends at MetroX and then the best thing happened, all my friends from MetroMerge graduated to MetroX.

In MetroX, we break up into small groups according to our gender and grade. Therefore, I was placed with a group of girls that were in 9th and 10th grade. Although I already knew most of the girls, I really got to know them in a deeper way. They truly became my sisters in Christ that I could depend on when I needed someone. My small group teacher is simply amazing. She has created a culture of love and fellowship like I have never experienced before.

I look forward to Friday night gatherings and Sundays. Every Sunday, my small group leader brought snacks for us to eat. Everyone loved it since we love food. Week after week our teacher brought in snacks, but a couple of the girls and I felt that we should contribute and bring in snacks as well. So, I suggested it to my teacher and she thought it was a great idea. That day, I passed around a piece a paper with the dates and told everyone to sign up for one if they can. Now, each week, someone brings in snacks for our  small group. It is not a burden or feels like a chore. It is our way of showing love to our teacher and our fellow sisters. 

Submitted by Christina Ahn

Dinner For Eight And Talking About Racial Justice

On Sunday night, ten of us gathered in our home for one of Metro's dinner for eight. We enjoyed eating together and learning from each other about racial issues. Scott Whitehurst and Giovanni Rosario led our conversation, sharing from their own experiences and asking leading questions to help us discover our own experiences and perceptions. 

Some of our take aways:
I now have a deeper understanding of how our African American brothers and sisters, and their families suffer through the injustice of racism.  I am hoping that when I talk to my friends and family on this matter, I will be able to share what I learned and make them aware of the injustice that African Americans have faced in the past and in the present. (Ling)

When I signed up for Dinner of 8, I did not know what to expect, but wanted to gain more knowledge on the rising issues of racial justice. I was shy at first and hesitated to contribute my ideas and thoughts, but as the evening went on, I became more and more comfortable as our facilitators, Scott and Gio, did an awesome job with leading the discussions. I was able to share my experiences as a Korean-American. I truly enjoyed listening to different experiences the group had while they were growing up in America as well as their perspectives on the issues. (Yuna) 

Who is my "neighbor?" One of my deepest revelations from the Parable of the Good Samaritan was that your neighbor is someone who is NOT like you. Different backgrounds, nationalities, experiences and cultures is what came together this past Sunday as we met together for our Dinner for 8. In the presence of the Holy Spirit, as we ate, asked questions, shared, learned about each other and listened, it became clear that outside the walls and confines of a "church service," we had "church" because we were building bridges through honest and open conversations and communications. We were taking a step towards our awareness for, our love for, our understanding of our brothers and sisters who are not like us. Honestly, as great as the dinner was, the feast of koinonia, at the table was that much more delicious. (Daniel)

My take away from Sunday's supper was an appreciation for a more personal look at black American history. Being a Chinese American, to recognize what other minorities  suffered and fought for so we can have the rights and privileges we have today. (Christina)

I learned that people could hold some kind of prejudice toward certain group of people or race based on their past experiences or what they were taught. We may stereotype certain race without knowing the whole truth or the history. I also learned more about the injustice our African-American friends experienced, and feel more personal about it. I hope to share what I learn with my friends and children.  Thank you, Scott and Gio for leading and sharing your experiences with us. Thank you, Linda and Pastor Kevin for hosting. (Jennifer)

It was really good to get together with some new and old Metro friends this past Sunday evening to engage in a conversation about racial justice. We had at least 5 different ethnicities represented at the table which gave us a good opportunity to see the the race situation in our country through a variety of lenses. Everyone had something to learn and something to share. I was reminded that a significant step in the journey to racial reconciliation is taking the time to listen and learn from each other. (Pastor Kevin)



Submitted by Linda Swanson

Lights... Camera... Discussion!

This past Wednesday, we kicked off a brand new video format at Metro - a Facebook Live discussion panel with our Metro pastors, where pastors Peter, Kevin and David discussed some timely social topics as it pertains to our faith...but also provided an opportunity for our viewers to ask questions for them to answer on-air.

This first show was essentially a "proof-of-concept" using a new piece of tech that we invested in last year - a small camera that allows us to create live multi-angled productions from a single, simple device. Since we weren't 100% sure if the technology would work well, we were hesitant to properly promote the show in case it didn't; but now that we have done it...and it didn't crash and burn...we are excited to say confidently that we intend to produce more live shows for you and will let you know when the next one will take place well ahead of time.

While we really enjoyed the casual banter between Peter, Kevin and David - what we're really excited about is how you will shape this medium, which we hope will help you to plug more into God, your walk with Jesus and the life of our church. In fact...we would love to hear from you! At the bottom of this page is a form where you can share your feedback of this first show, what topics you would like us to engage with for future shows, and any questions that you would like our pastors to address.

Finally, if you missed the video, you can watch it here below. Thanks for watching and we shall see you on the internets!

Submitted by Timm Chartier
Director of Media & Communications
 

Help Us Shape Our Future Shows!

Name
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The Art Of Self Reflection

The art of self-reflection is something that you do not read in most leadership books. It is one of the more under valued leadership tools and the reason why many leaders end up falling. I do not know where I would be today if I didn't spend some part of my day self-reflecting with God: my emotions, my interactions with people and trying to find the silver lining in the negative experiences of my day. It often gives me clarity, or at the very least an ability to off-load heavy emotions so I do not carry it throughout the day and into other relationships. So how do you self-reflect? Here is my guide to self-reflecting. I'm sure there are better ways to self-reflect, but this is the way I find maximum impact in my times of self-reflection. 

1. Silence - I give myself anywhere between 10-30 minutes of silence. You cannot do this with music on, or in a loud place, you have to find a place where there is some semblance of silence.

2. Feel - I allow myself to feel every emotions that I have towards people that I interacted with, or people that I can't get out of my mind. I am extremely raw at this point. I allow myself to feel every emotion, even the ones I believe are sinful. Hey, you have to be honest with yourself.

3. God - I bring my emotions before God and process them. I do not simply just feel for the sake of feeling, but I allow myself to feel before God. I usually journal at this point and am wide open to what God may want to say to me regarding my emotions.

4. Future - After bringing my emotions before God, I ask myself, how will this inform me when I see this person, or experience this situation again? I look for God's direction and I make sure I journal it for reference.

5. Share - I always share things that God reveals to me to my soulmates (accountability partner) and my wife for greater accountability.

6. Execute - If you do not execute the things that God is impressing upon your heart, then you have disarmed the power of self-reflection. Self-reflection must prepare you for action. If it does not, then it is an empty practice.

I encourage you to practice self-reflection for the next several weeks. I hope it will become a regular practice in your life.

Blessings,
Pastor Peter
Senior Pastor

Our Family Thankful Tree

Inspired by MetroTots, we started our thankful tree after one Sunday when our son, Amos, learned about people he is thankful for.  We were encouraged by his teacher to continue to exercise being thankful at home. 

We didn’t know if Amos knew anything about being thankful. Does he understand what we are saying? How are we going to teach it to him? Where do we start?  After all, he wasn’t even 2.5 years old.  So the exercise started.  Each morning we asked Amos the same question, “Amos what are you thankful for this morning?”.   As I thought about the big things like family, work, church, friends, community… etc. Amos always added the little things like water, lollipop, cars, choo-choo train, spoon...  This tree was to teach Amos what and who we are thankful for but it was reminding us parents that every little thing is given to us and we are blessed.  It’s teaching us to not overlook the good and the bad but be thankful for them all no matter the circumstance

MetroTots continues to have a huge impact in Amos and us, parents.  It’s encouraging to see at Amos’ young age he DOES get the concept of being thankful.  He may not understand it all but he is exposed and he gets it.  Amos’ love for praise and his interest in Bible study is not only done at home but he knows he has a community, his church, his MetroTots.  And so we are thankful for our community, Metro.

Submitted by Helen Lee

Our Failure, God's Success: MetroRED Retreat

I heard it said once: God usually does his best work after all of ours has failed. I went into our recent RED single's retreat holding onto this truth.

As you may be aware, Metro Community Church has been going through a financial crisis recently. When this crisis began, the Metro staff was instructed to adjust their budgets accordingly. I tried to salvage what I could, but on a cold November day, Pastor Kevin (our executive pastor) informed me that our RED retreat budget had gone to be with the Lord. We cried (mainly pastor Kevin) and I got busy trying to plan a January retreat. 

Now, by the grace of God, we have a lot of gifted people at Metro and a great network of friends in ministry that we have access to to help us through difficult times like these. We were blessed to have Rev. Michael Carrion to be our guest speaker. We were also blessed to have an amazing worship team made up of Metro's own Sonia Kim (who is an anointed worship leader), Andy Chung, Dennis Kwon, and Mikey Oh. The RED team and I prayed and fasted, and did all we could to create a space and opportunity for God to move. God, being God, took a look at our “plan”, chuckled, and blew us all away!

In all my years at Metro, I have never seen anything like what I saw from our people at this retreat. To give you some background – we went in wanting God to speak to three areas where I believed MetroRED needed help:

1. Cultivating a real relationship with God
2. Intentionally making time for God; and
3. Fellowship

God absolutely spoke to these areas. Most notably on the Saturday night...

Through pastor Carrion, God spoke about the need and blessing of intentionally making time to cultivate a genuine relationship with God. The first set of worship ushered in the presence of God in a tangible way. Every hand was lifted high, not a dry eye in the room, and a few of our people were so undone that they needed someone to tend to them! It was an amazing thing to witness. 

Ten minutes into the sermon we knew we were hearing from God. So much so that mid-way through the message, a young lady began to weep uncontrollably! That sight was a first for me. Clearly God was in the room. By the time the second worship set rolled around, the presence of God was so heavy that many of us couldn’t move - wouldn’t move. We knew God was in the room, we knew he had filled the space. For some of us it was the first time in a long time, for others it was the first time.

We scheduled a small-group time immediately following. We scheduled 30 minutes…it ended up being closer to 2 hours! There was sharing, prayer, more tears, more work of the Holy Spirit. 

During the second set of worship God spoke to me. He told me that we “successfully plowed the ground.” My heart rejoiced. For over three years, the RED team and I were fighting what at times felt like a losing battle. Through it all, we held on to the hope that God was working...and on this night He revealed that He was!

Revival is coming to Metro and it’s coming through MetroRED. We’ll need your prayers.

Submitted by Joshua Olivero
Director of MetroRED (single's ministry)

Renewing Our Emotions For Spiritual Health

I’m a social media junkie. I love everything about it. I love seeing what everyone’s up to, the funny Snapchat filters, heck I even like the cliched food photos. Social media has allowed me to maintain many more relationships than I have been able to in the past.

Unfortunately, a side effect of social media is that it sometimes makes me feel inadequate. It seem like EVERYONE’s got it together, EVERYONE’s got a nicer, more interesting life than mine. It seems like everyone is on vacation all the time with their perfect kids and perfect spouse gorging themselves on amazing food all day while still maintaining perfect six-pack abs.

Though this is what we perceive, the reality is that what we see on the surface is not necessarily the truth. As a matter of fact, it is RARELY the truth. The truth is that under the pristine surface of what people show you on social media, there is a whole lot of brokenness. This is not only true for my friends, but for myself.

This concept is at the heart of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. EHS teaches us that our lives are like a glacier. The tip are the images that we show the world. We flaunt it, take photos of it, apply the Valencia filter, use the right amount of Vignette and Tilt Shift to draw the eyes’ attention to the most beautiful parts of it so that we can subconsciously show everyone that we’ve got it all together. But in reality, there is a whole other side of the glacier that runs downward, into the deep dark places of our souls. It is a place that many of us do not dare go because of unresolved pain, conflicts, and sin.  

We at Metro firmly believe that it is IMPOSSIBLE to be spiritually healthy if you are not emotionally healthy. If one does not deal with the brokenness that is underneath the pristine image that you put forth every day, it is impossible to be in a place of spiritual health. As such, 4 weeks ago, 25 of us embarked on a journey towards spiritual and emotional health. We have learned so far about how important it is to begin the journey to knowing oneself, to explore family patterns of sin, and how to handle times of spiritual dryness.

We’re only halfway through the class, but the Spirit has already done some amazing things in people’s lives! We are so very excited to see what more He will do in the coming weeks!

Submitted by Michael Yi
Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formations

MetroKids Family Fun Time

We had a great time bonding this afternoon as MetroKids families came together to play some games with laughter and fun! Thank you, Suemee, for putting this event together! Cheers to good family fun, Metro!

Submitted by Pastor Shirley
MetroKids

Through The Brokenness

I am broken.  I know this. I also know God loves me in my brokenness. Without his never-ending love, I would not be alive right now. 

The truth is I should be a drug addict, or a prostitute or I should have killed myself by now. That should have been my reality. There are still some days when I wish I could just give up, throw in the towel. But, I have found my solace in God’s love. Although I question WHY I have had to endure some things I’ve had to endure, I know there is a reason.  I am here for a PURPOSE and He will never leave my side.

When I was just a baby, my parents divorced. I never knew what a family unit was like until both of my parents remarried.  I was so happy when my mom remarried.  I remember I loved my mother, adored her, idolized her.  I remember thinking she was just my WORLD.  She married her husband when I was around five years old and not long after they had my baby sister.  I remember feeling happy and loving my new family unit. 

When I was around 8 years old, my life changed forever.  My stepfather, who I looked at as my own father, began sexually abusing me.  At first I did not remember or know what was going on but I remember one night so vividly that it is burned into my brain.  I still to this day can remember his exact words to me, what I was wearing. I guess that is what happens when your world has been rocked. 

For the next several months, I kept this “secret” I was ashamed and terrified and could not understand why no one recognized I was not the same little girl.  I remember being afraid to play with my biological father whom I lived with at the time.  I thought that everyone was going to hurt me. 

After quite some time, I finally told a family friend. She was only a few years older than I was. I will never forget the absolute terror I felt one day when my stepfather was coming to pick me up. I have never been so scared and frozen in my entire life.  That day, my friend told her mom what had happened to me. She doesn’t know it but she saved my life.

I would love to say that from that day forward my healing began. But that could not be further from the truth. Obviously my mother found out what her husband had done to me. I thought my life would change. I hoped everyone would fight for me, protect me. The exact opposite happened.  My mother, who was my world, stayed with this man instead of fighting for me and protecting me.  She had more children with this man and moved more than half way across the country with this man. 

This hurt so much. This pain and abandonment is still with me until this day.  I have such brokenness because of this that when I feel that someone does not fight for me, I am devastated.  Just once in my life I want someone to FIGHT FOR ME. 

I know that God has fought for me though.  I know that because He has rescued me. Without His love and His Grace, I would be nowhere near where I am today.  I should be dead on the streets. I should not have made it through this. 

As if that was not enough, in my life I continued the pattern of abuse. Unfortunately, I married an emotionally and verbally abusive man.  He cheated on me time and time again and made me believe that I was the one to blame.  That me being abused was my fault.  I stayed in that relationship way longer than I ever should because I had no sense of worth and he made me feel I was nothing without him. 

Now that I’m finally out of that relationship, I realize that our dysfunctional marriage was a very co-dependent relationship. Along the way I struggled to keep my faith.  I did not pray because how could I pray to a God that allowed these things to happen to me?  How could I have faith that everything was going to be OK when God put me in these situations? 

Almost two years ago, I was brought to Metro and this church. God used people at Metro to encourage me and He has restored my faith.  I now know that I can do ANYTHING.  That I am a SURVIVOR AND A FIGHTER. Because of His love, I am not a prostitute or a drug addict, or lying somewhere dead on the street. 

I know that my story has power and maybe that is why I was given the battles that I have been given.  I have PURPOSE and although I don’t know exactly what that purpose is, I know that I am on the right path.  As I pray, God has told me to tell my story.  I am BROKEN but I now know that that is OK. With God’s help I am putting myself back together piece by piece, day by day. Without His love, I would be nothing.  

Submitted by Jillian Saldana

 

 

Filming for MLK

When MLK day comes around each year, our church wants to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and his great work for civil rights. He is often quoted saying: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

We are a church that is made up of people from many nations. Our church family has greatly benefited from the life work of Dr. King. For this reason, we honor him and remind ourselves of his words. This Sunday, we will share a video tribute of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Metro - let's  pray we can continue in  the fight for the oppressed, speaking truth in love. 

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28

Submitted by Doug Cho
Pastor of Arts in Ministry

Travel Agents and Tour Guides

I used to rebel at the very idea of going on a guided tour. Why would I pay someone to tell me things that I could figure out on my own? I had no problem going to a travel agent to buy some tickets, but after that I was good on my own...or so I thought. Several years ago some friends took Linda and me on some guided tours and everything changed. I realized how much I was missing trying to figure things out on my own. Having a tour guide along increased the enjoyment and overall experience exponentially. An unintended consequence was that the tour guide piqued my interest enough for me to want to read and research more about the place I had been.

Last Sunday Pastor Peter invited the entire Metro family to join in on a journey through the story of the life of Jesus Christ as written by Luke. He did not invite us as a travel agent. He didn’t sell a ticket to you and send you on your way. He invited us as a tour guide. He and the rest of the pastors are going on this journey for the next several months and the invitation is for you to come along. Together we will discover all kinds of truth about God and his relentless love for us. And, because we make the journey together, we will achieve so much more than any of us could alone.

So now what? Good question…here are a couple thoughts:

1.     Our commitment to you is to always provide the scripture that we will be journeying through on a given Sunday, one week in advance. That will give you the opportunity to read the passage at least once before we gather on Sunday.  Reading ahead will greatly enhance the benefit you receive.

2.     If you miss a Sunday at Metro, make sure you either watch the Live Stream of the sermon on the Metro web site or listen to the podcast before the next Sunday. You really don’t want to miss any of the stops on this journey.

3.     Make it a priority to talk with someone about the sermon. This can happen in the car on the way home from church on Sunday, over coffee with a friend, or with your Underground Group. Experts have concluded that READING, HEARING and DISCUSSING combine to help us learn and retain what we hear. 

This coming Sunday we will start the journey  by looking at Zecheriah who plays a key role in the story of Jesus. The scripture to read is Luke 1:1-23, 62-80. This is one of the longer passages, but I know you can do it!

I am really looking forward to making this journey with you!     

Pastor Kevin

A Brand New Year. A Brand New Logo!

Metro, we are excited to ring in the new year with a completely brand new look for Metro Community Church - behold our new Metro logo!

After many years of discussing a re-design of our Metro logo to something more fresh and - more importantly - meaningful, it is finally here! To give you a better understanding of why we felt that this design was the right design for us, here is a brief breakdown of all of the main design features that make up the new logo...

M is for Metro

As you can plainly see from the logo - the symbol is comprised of four 'm's overlapping each other to create an interesting geometric pattern. M is for Metro. Simple enough. Moving on!

Metro is about people

Directly above each 'm' is a solid circle that transforms the 'm's in to people, arms linked - a community! In this particular version of the logo, we have four colors representing our community - red, blue yellow and green. While the colors of our logo will likely change from time to time and season to season, they represent that Metro is a multiethnic church that welcomes all people from all cultural backgrounds.

Metro is about God

Just as each circle represents the heads of our a community, the circle in the center of the image represents the "head" of our church - God who is colorless, body-less, but the One that our faith and our community revolves around and is anchored to.

Metro believes that Jesus conquered the grave

Perhaps a little more subtle in the design is the cross (or 'x') shape that is formed from the middle leg of each 'm' converging towards the center circle. Traditionally, crosses in Christian symbology stand up straight. Our cross is tilted like an X, because ultimately the cross no longer stands - Jesus overcame death on the cross by resurrecting from the dead. The cross is broken, death has been defeated! Halleluah!

Metro is a Evangelical Covenant Church

While certainly not intentional during the design process, we realize that there is a similarity between our new logo and the Evangelical Covenant Church logo - that's totally ok! We actually like that it makes us feel like we are part of the same family as our denomination...and I'm sure the ECC doesn't mind that we totally have the cooler design... Just kidding... Or are we??

Metro is not Metro PCS!

One of the most common critiques that we received from our church members regarding our old logo was that it looked very similar to the Metro PCS (cellphone company) logo...except maybe a little more squished together. For our new logo, we have a completely new font - very clean, very modern and no longer cramped together. We hope that this new, clean-looking typeset will stand the test of time.

Two visual elements that we did keep from the previous logo is that we still have a crooked 'e' in the word 'metro'; and "community church" is positioned directly underneath the 'metro' as well. While, these might seem trivial and not worth mentioning, it does lend itself a slight visual consistency to the old logo that makes the new logo feel somewhat familiar, even if it is a complete re-design.

Metro. Enjoy!

So there it is - our new logo! We are very excited to have a symbol that we feel better represents us as a church - a symbol that you can get excited about, but also a symbol that may peak the curiosity of people outside of Metro, as we produce promotional materials and swag for our ministries etc.

Of course, you will still see our old logo around and about, but please bare with us as we slowly, but surely update all of our signs, swag and other Metro-related stuff with our new, fresh image.

Enjoy!

 
 

The Christmas Offering And Me ~ A Story That Goes Both Ways

In 2016, Metro helped me provide care for people serving the least of these in tough regions of the world. The prayers and financial support from our church sent me to Dubai, Turkey, Bulgaria, Mozambique and Lesotho and helped Kevin and me host three marriage retreats. In each place, there were challenges and times when I felt stretched way past my capacity. In each place, God helped me and accomplished amazing things to comfort and strengthen the missionaries I was sent to encourage through speaking and hosting retreats for them.

Part of my work is to prayerfully sit with women around the world via Skype. Together we seek to discern what God is teaching them in the midst of their challenging situations. I’m often very humbled by what the women share. Their faith and trust in God is amazing but often fragile as they face the toughest questions life throws at us. I am privileged to be a prayerful companion because I’m sent by Metro to be a part of their lives so they can be effective in life and ministry.

I’m so thankful Metro partners with me in the work God has given me to do.  Metro uses the Christmas offering to fund the church’s giving for my work and so many more incredibly worthwhile endeavors to reach our needy world with God’s love.

In these last days of 2016, Kevin and I have been pouring over our personal budget for 2017, asking God to show us how we can multiply our giving to Him through Metro. He has graciously answered and given us some new ideas about how we can be more bountiful in response to the amazingly bountiful life He has given us.

We are praying for each one in our Metro family to know how to respond to the financial needs of our church and the opportunities of the Christmas offering. With great anticipation, we look forward to seeing how God answers our prayers!

In just a few days, Kevin and I will be off on an incredible adventure to bring care and encouragement to people serving in hidden places in Asia. These are people who have US and Canadian passports but are ethnically and linguistically gifted to serve in their locations. We are humbled to be able to serve them and we ask for your prayers that the retreat will bless them with rest, renewal, and restoration.

Thank you for sending me to come alongside our brothers and sisters who serve in difficult places. I must hold the stories I’ve been entrusted with in confidence as I’ve promised to be a safe place for those who share with me. But, if you have questions, please connect with me and let’s chat. There are many things God has done that I can testify to in a private setting. 

With a thankful heart,
Linda Swanson

(You can read about the Christmas Offering and how it is used HERE)